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From The Socialist newspaper, 11 March 2020

Salford 'no-cuts' budget includes cuts and tax rises

photo Paul Mattsson

photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Nick Chaffey, Socialist Party national committee

Salford council has cut 211 million from spending since 2010.

What can be done to protect jobs and services and reverse the decade-long era of austerity that has wreaked damage to working-class communities? There is growing pressure on Labour councils to respond to Tory funding cuts.

But setting this year's budget, Salford council leader Paul declared: "For the first time... I have presented a budget that will deliver no further cuts to the services our residents need."

The budget was welcomed by public sector union Unison in Salford. Care workers in Unison, working for the council, will see their pay rise to 9 an hour in October.

The Socialist Party welcomes any steps taken to protect jobs and services. But what Salford Labour has voted through, robs Peter to pay Paul.

By increasing council tax by almost 4% - for what claims to be at best a stand-still budget - working-class families are being asked to pay for Tory cuts.

Dennett recognises this: "Council Tax is a regressive form of taxation, which hits the poorest people in our communities the hardest... we must raise local rates to pay for the deficit caused by austerity budgets from national government."

The first rule for socialists is to tell the truth and propose a programme and strategy in the interests of the working class. Salford's budget far from being a no-cuts budget actually includes "9.8 million savings".

This is a smokescreen that divides workers and undermines the possibility to fightback. Rather, Salford council should mobilise a fight to restore the stolen 211 million that unites workers.

Across the country, Labour councils control combined budgets of almost 80 billion. And hold over 14 billion in reserves.

The Socialist Party says setting no-cuts budgets is the means to mobilise a mass campaign of council workers, trade unions and local communities to demand the restoration of government funding.

On this basis in the 1980s the Militant (now Socialist Party) led Liverpool Council forced Thatcher to retreat and concede 60 million that funded a programme of building 5,000 council homes, leisure centres, nurseries and parks.

The Socialist Party says:

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 11 March 2020:


Coronavirus

Coronavirus: Full NHS funding now

Coronavirus infects the world economy

Flybe collapse: nationalise to save jobs threatened by Covid-19 and downturn

Coronavirus: international cooperation needed, not capitalist competition

Supermarkets are ruled by profit - unions should control supply limits

For full pay during isolation: for public health as well as workers' wallets

Self-isolation patients speak: NHS facilities and advice not up to it

Italy on lockdown: lack of resources and democracy causes panic

South Korea shows capitalism has money to respond to coronavirus

Coronavirus news in brief


News

Domestic Violence bill: We still need to fight to save our services

News in brief


Workplace news

Postal workers mobilise to win strike reballot

Homerton Hospital workers fight for sick pay

Fighting to transform the union in my warehouse

Argos workers in Sainsbury's stores threatened with losing collective bargaining

Homeless charity workers to strike against intransigent management

Southampton trade unionists say "defend the right to strike!"

Strong support for PCS Broad Left Network

East London uni and bin worker strikes


US election

How can Trump be ousted from the White House?


Campaigns and party news

Salford 'no-cuts' budget includes cuts and tax rises

Stoke council unions beat pay cuts - now let's stop all cuts

Is there an anti-cuts rebellion in Scotland?

Socialist Party joins International Women's Day protests

Housing workers explain reality to idiot Boris Johnson

Swansea: Ask anyone about state of services, you will hear the real story

Camarthenshire: Councillors' 'walk of shame'

Student occupation in support of striking workers

Selling the Socialist

Socialist Party executive committee positions


International news

Greece-Turkey border refugee crisis


Women's and trans rights

Women's rights, trans rights and the labour movement


Readers' opinion

Film: Greed directed by Michael Winterbottom

Childcare - costly, inadequate and hard work

Book: Why you should be a trade unionist by Unite general secretary Len McCluskey

The Socialist Inbox


 

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Salford:

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